Sabbath School FAQs
1. Are congregations of the United Church of God required to use these outlines for their youth instruction?
No! These Sabbath School Teacher Outlines are being made available for any congregations that desire to use them. Some teachers prefer to use their own material or other programs. Instructors may use some or all of the outlines depending upon their need.
2. There are four lessons prepared for each month during the school year. What if you do not meet four times each month?
If a particular program does not meet each week, the teachers have the option of choosing which lessons they will utilize that month. We recommend, however, that instructors follow the basic progression of the lessons throughout the year since the program has been designed to maintain a flow from one month to the next.
3. When do you recommend Sabbath School classes be held each Sabbath? Can they be held during services?
How each Sabbath School program fits into the time allotted for church services and fellowship is to be determined by the church leadership of each congregation. Some have the classes before or after services, and some have them during a portion of the service. We do not recommend that classes be conducted during the sermon on a regular basis.
4. Are teachers permitted to edit or use portions of the outlines, or must they follow it exactly as written?
It is understood that every teacher will not follow the outlines word for word. Adding some personal illustrations, omitting some references, and modifying the lessons in a minor way is acceptable. However, since the church has approved the curriculum and outlines, we ask instructors not to extensively revise the lesson so that the original message developed by the author is reflected.
5. Why are some lessons longer than others?
Over 25 different individuals contributed to writing the outlines. Though there were general guidelines for uniformity, we allowed each teacher the latitude to develop the main purpose of the lesson as he or she felt necessary. Thus, the lessons express a cohesiveness and similarity, yet reflect the individual style and abilities of each writer.
6. How do we arrange our classes if we only have 1 or 2 students in a grade level?
The pastor and Sabbath School coordinators can determine the best way to organize classes and present the material. When making adjustments, sometimes the art projects will need to be modified. We understand that every congregation will not always have sufficient numbers to have six levels. Combining levels is acceptable, if necessary.
7. I noticed in one of the teacher's outlines that a resource was referenced which contained illustrations of Jesus. What is the Sabbath School policy with respect to pictures or illustrations of Christ?
The United Church of God continues to maintain our long held practice of not including pictures or depictions of Jesus Christ in our publications. Because of respect for the second commandment and our realization that no one knows exactly what Jesus looked like, we avoid attempts at portraying our Savior. Our Sabbath School Teacher's Outlines reflect this policy by not including drawings or representations of Jesus.
Occasionally, the writers of the lessons point the Sabbath School instructors to outside resources that they feel may help enhance the effectiveness of the overall subject matter. Although these resources may themselves contain certain illustrations or representations, it is not the intent of the author that the teachers draw a student's attention to any specific portrayal of Jesus. Though we know Jesus looked similar to the average Jew of His day and very much unlike most traditional artwork, the Sabbath School program policy is to not create imagined images, provide coloring materials, or create a man-made depiction of Jesus Christ for our children.